la Casetta Rossa

Italian language and culture for children


Designed to enable your child to learn Italian through a full-immersion program, La Casetta Rossa provides a comprehensive curriculum, enriched by engaging play. Classes are purposely kept small to ensure personal attention to students and high level of interaction. Students are exposed not only to the fundaments of the Italian language, but also to the Italian lifestyle and culture through a series of activities that complement traditional school education, such as cooking, music, arts, history and geography.

Children can attend La Casetta Rossa after school for one or more days a week. Sessions run Mondays through Fridays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. (2:30-4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays). After a delicious and healthy “merenda” (traditional Italian snack for children), students attend Italian lessons. The afternoon ends with some fun playtime with Italian games or songs.

About the Founder

Originally from a small town in the Italian Alps (Cles, in Trentino), Irene Fondriest moved to the United States with her husband in 1998. Irene and her family have lived in the Upper Valley since 2009. After working as a corporate attorney for more than fifteen years, Irene decided to start La Casetta Rossa to pursue her dream - share her love for Italy with American families and friends. Irene is excited to see the strong encouragement and support received from parents for the creation of the first Italian program for children in the Upper Valley.

“I feel very fortunate to come from a country with a strong passion for culture, history, arts, and wonderful food. But I am particularly thankful to my two little girls for appreciating my origins in the things we do together every day - they are a constant inspiration to me. My daughters have grown up in the United States, but through my teaching they speak fluently Italian without accent. They are also extremely proud of our Italian way of living. In the last ten years or so, I witnessed closely the incredible potential that kids have when learning a foreign language, customs and traditions. My hope is that La Casetta Rossa will be able to instill in many other young minds a desire to embrace the Italian language and culture.”

photo of Irene